By any measure 2020 was a tough year. We’d all like to think that 2021 is going to be less demanding but the reality is that, as a global community, we have still got some major challenges ahead. That doesn’t mean however, that we can’t, as individuals, thrive both physically and mentally this year. It all starts, after all, with a healthy mindset. Here are four ways to develop and sustain one.
Truly happy people are able to be present in their lives. They focus on the journey rather than the destination. That is because they are able to master the art of living in the moment, which is an aspect of mindfulness. That is the goal that we should all aspire to.
Being present in the body is not enough. You need to be fully engaged, and especially so at home. Your family members deserve all of your time. There are so many forms of entertainment and social media that are constantly competing for our attention, that it is easy to only give a smidgeon of the attention to our family members that they deserve.
In order to be present you must gain mastery over your technology. Most people are actually enslaved to their devices. Even when their wife or children are talking to them, they’ve got an eye on YouTube, they’re involved in an SMS message thread or they’re trolling through Instagram. That is not only demeaning to your loved one – it says that you value your technology more than them – it is also robbing you of precious time that you can never get back.
Here are some tips to help you and your family to become more present with one another:
- Turn off your phone when you get home. Believe it or not, you are not that important that you cannot be out of reach for a couple of hours. You can check your messages when the kids are in bed, but until then the phone is a distraction that they don’t deserve.
- Eat your dinner meal together. Have a no technology rule at the dinner table. Initiate conversation. Perhaps you can start by sharing your highlight and lowlight of the day and then invite family members to do the same.
- Listen twice as much as you speak. Give thoughtful consideration to what is being said and respond with empathy and kindness.
Stop Comparing Yourself
Social Media has turned us into an insanely competitive society of insecure narcissists. We stress about being liked by others, about being seen on social media in the right places with the right people. And ninety nine percent of the time, it leaves us feeling that we’re not good enough.
But why put yourself through all of that stress? Why should you allow the billionaires behind all that social media to control how you feel about yourself? They may have programmed society to believe that life is a competition, but they’re pushing a fallacy. You do not have to compete with anybody. You’re a unique individual and you don’t have to feel pressured to conform. So, if you’be been running on the social media powered insta-worthy treadmill of vanity, don’t you think it’s time you got off?
When you do, you’ll discover that you never have to do things to conform to the expectations of others. That realization will awaken you to the real joy of living – expressing your real self.
When we have a lot of stuff on our plate, we focus on ourselves. We don’t have time for other people. In fact, we tend to view them as an impediment to our own progress as we mow through our list of jobs. This happens at work, but also in the home. As a result, you miss the vital opportunities to interact with your loved ones – your wife, husband, children or parents. These people need you and you need them also. If they perceive that you’re too busy to give them the time they need and deserve, you will lose out on the trust that they have in you as a source of support and comfort for them. Slowing down will make you a better person by allowing you to give of your time to the people who matter the most.
Reduce Your Work Time
It seems logical that the longer you work, the more work you will get done. However, the facts do not back up that simple assertion. Studies have revealed that output does not rise or fall in direct proportion to the number of hours worked. If you are an employee that works 70 hours a week, you could boost your productivity if you slowed down, worked 50 hours and became more productive. Think working smarter rather than harder and longer.
Working fewer hours will allow you to spend more time on the things that are really important.